Maya versus Daya

Master: “The feeling of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ is ignorance. People say that Rani Rasmani built the Kali temple; but nobody says it was the work of God. They say that such and such a person established the Brahmo Samaj; but nobody says it was founded through the will of God. This feeling, ‘I am the doer’ is ignorance. On the contrary, the idea, ‘O God, Thou art the Doer and I am only an instrument; Thou art the Operator and I am a machine,’ is Knowledge. After attaining Knowledge a man says: ‘O God, nothing belongs to me, neither this house of worship nor this Kali temple nor this Brahmo Samaj. These are all Thine. Wife, son, and family do not belong to me. They are all Thine.’

“To love these objects, regarding them as one’s own, is maya. But to love all things is daya, compassion. To love only the members of the Brahmo Samaj or of one’s own family is maya; to love one’s own countrymen is maya. But to love the people of all countries, to love the members of all religions, is daya. Such love comes from love of God, from daya.

“Maya entangles a man and turns him away from God. But through daya one realizes God. Sages like Sukadeva and Narada always cherished daya in their hearts.

Pratap: “Revered sir, are those who live with you making progress in spiritual life?”

Master: “I tell people that there is nothing wrong in the life of the world. But they must live in the world as a maid-servant lives in her master’s house. Referring to her master’s house, she says, ‘That is our house,’ But her real home is perhaps in a far-away village. . . . She brings up her master’s son and says, ‘My Hari has grown very naughty,’ or ‘My Hari doesn’t like sweets,’ Though she repeats, ‘My Hari’ with her lips, yet she knows in her heart that Hari doesn’t belong to her, that he is her master’s son.

“Thus I say to those who visit me: ‘Why don’t you live in the world? There is no harm in that. But always keep your mind on God. Know for certain that house, family, and property are not yours. They are God’s. Your real home is in God.’ Also I ask them to pray always with a longing heart for love of God’s lotus feet.”

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna